10 Best Video Game Narratives

Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn, Joel and Ellie from The Last of Us, and Jin from Ghost of Tsushima

Narratives are best enjoyed when audiences can fully immerse themselves in a fictional world. Video games give audiences yet another medium to experience transformative stories. It could be argued that the video game format is especially captivating, allowing viewers to play as main characters and, sometimes, even make choices that can alter the sequence of events.

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There are many reasons why a gamer might be drawn to a particular title. Still, now more than ever, players favor video games with well-written storylines that lend themselves nicely to the gaming experience. With unique visuals, compelling characters, and exciting controls, gamers can become part of the stories they truly care about.

10 Players Make The Quick And Crucial Choices In Heavy Rain

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Released in 2010, Heavy Rain introduced the gaming industry to fascinating narratives. The video game has a disturbing premise, centered around a serial killer who murders their victims slowly by drowning them during periods of heavy rainfall. Gamers play as four characters throughout the narrative, all connected to the killer in some way.

Heavy Rain gives players options at crucial moments, allowing them to sway the narrative and change the course of events. The lives of the four protagonists are in the players’ hands, entirely dependent on what they choose to do and say. Now and then, gamers encounter quick time events, whereby players must make choices under intense pressure.

9 Undertale Urges Players To Choose Mercy Over Violence

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Undertale is an indie role-playing game about a child who has fallen into a magical Underground realm just beneath the Earth’s surface. Despite the simplistic 2D interface and bullet-dodging battles, Undertale‘s narrative is whimsical and heartfelt. The monsters that players meet along their journey are dying to get back to the surface after humans trapped them Underground.

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Undertale offers an alternative way of playing games compared to most mainstream titles. Gamers will get alternate endings to Undertale, depending on their play style and choices. If players can get through the narrative without killing a ton of monsters, even if it means running away from a fight, they’ll get an easier ride during the final boss battle.

8 The Stakes Are High In Detroit: Become Human

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Created by the same team as Heavy Rain, Detroit: Become Human focuses on the character arcs of three androids. As the title suggests, the narrative shows how each playable character slowly edges towards becoming human, despite being created as subservient robots.

Players have a say in how vital events play out, and even how particular characters react to them. There are numerous occasions where protagonists can die in Detroit: Become Human, but the script is written so that the narrative can continue despite a seemingly important character’s death. This raises the stakes and creates a fresh and exciting gaming experience.

7 Until Dawn Immerses Gamers In A Slasher Movie

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>A wendigo killing Chris in Until Dawn game.

This dramatic horror video game utilizes the formula of a slasher movie, following eight characters with tenuous relationships. They must each fight for their lives over one night in a mountainous wilderness setting. Until Dawn features a butterfly effect system, whereby a butterfly will appear onscreen when players have the chance to make life-saving decisions.

Each character in Until Dawn has the potential to die, keeping games on their toes and the edge of their seat simultaneously. The gameplay lends itself perfectly to the intensity of a horror movie, even forcing players to keep their controllers still in the face of terrifying threats.

6 The Last of Us Revolutionizes A Gaming Trope

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The Last of Us carefully weaves a morally conflicting storyline through the characters of Joel, a smuggler, and Ellie, a sparky teenager. Joel is tortured by his daughter’s untimely and violent death at the onset of a global pandemic, a kind of mutated fungal infection. Ellie might be the cure, bitten by the infected but never turning into a cannibalistic monster.

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The Last of Us dazzles players with exceptional world-building, visuals, characterization, versatile weaponry, and stealthy gameplay. It takes the trope of a zombie-killing video game and deepens the concept beyond gamers’ wildest imaginations.

5 Genres Are Defied In What Remains Of Edith Finch

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This exploration video game is played from the first-person perspective, helping to cultivate an intimate gaming experience. What Remains of Edith Finch has a captivating narrative, following a seventeen-year-old who has lost her entire family, exploring their old home. On the surface, this video game is just a simple walking simulator.

The storyline brings What Remains of Edith Finch alive as a playthrough. By interacting with particular objects like books, for example, players can view vignettes of various characters’ deaths. They act as self-contained stories within What Remains of Edith Finch, the vignettes differing in style, mechanics, and genre.

4 Firewatch’s Story Is Told Through Nuanced Dialogue

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Firewatch follows Henry, a fire lookout working in Shoshone National Forest, in the wake of personal bad news and widespread fires the year before. Throughout the first-person perspective video game, Henry speaks with his supervisor, Delilah, through a walkie-talkie.

All the while, a strange mystery begins to unfold. Throughout Firewatch‘s adventure narrative, Henry and Delilah’s relationship blooms. The player is given dialogue options, including one to not speak at all. These decisions inevitably alter how the characters develop and grow, creating a nuanced storyline.

3 Horizon Zero Dawn Immerses Gamers In A Post-Apocalyptic World

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Released in 2017, Horizon Zero Dawn is an action role-playing game that spawned a franchise. The open-world video game’s setting merges ancient and futuristic imagery to produce a fascinating narrative. In this post-apocalyptic world, robots and machines are ancient, and they’re suddenly turning on the remaining humans.

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In Horizon Zero Dawn, gamers play as Aloy, a skilled hunter with an array of weaponry such as traps and spears. Players must utilize Aloy’s skills to defeat wayward technological creatures and discover the truth of her past.

2 Half-Life’s Narrative Was Created By A Sci-fi Writer

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Half-Life changed first-person shooter games forever back in 1998. Gamers play as Gordon Freeman, a scientist trying to escape a research facility after an alien invasion. An event he is somewhat responsible for. The game’s storyline is handed to the player subtly through scripted sequences, being less reliant on cutscenes.

A science fiction writer, Marc Laidlaw, was brought on board to shape Half-Life‘s narrative, and it shows. Especially at the end of the game, Gordon is absurdly given an offer of employment by the franchise’s most enigmatic character, G-Man.

1 Ghost of Tsushima’s Fight Sequences Reflect Jin’s Character Arc

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Set during the first Mongol invasion of Japan, players control samurai Jin Sakai. Ghost of Tsushima‘s narrative is centered around intriguing characters that guide Jin’s personal journey. Players must decide whether to follow the traditional codes of honor or use the stealth tactics of “the Ghost.”

Ghost of Tsushima‘s team was heavily influenced by Akira Kurosawa films, even including a black and white setting to fit the mood. This action-adventure game’s narrative is alluring, though, because the development of Jin’s fighting style directly corresponds to his internal struggle.

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